Get to know one of our newest D-SIP Alums – Laura Meyer!
What has been one of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned since your time in D-SIP? Or one of the best adventures you’ve had?
My biggest adventure has been moving to DC! I finished up my D-SIP position at the end of this summer, then I packed up my whole car with all my things and drove down here to start my new job. It was a huge risk and hasn’t always been easy, but it’s made me appreciate how strong my support network is, even when they’re in a different state or a different country.
What is your favorite D-SIP memory? Or what is one D-SIP takeaway that has stuck with you?
We had so many amazing memories! One of my favorite memories was our project showcase at the end of the summer – to go from the beginning of the summer, where some of us didn’t even know what our projects were about, to the end of the summer, where we had all accomplished such great things, was incredible. I loved getting to dress up and explore everyone’s accomplishments over heavy appetizers and reflect on the summer. It really made me appreciate what an extraordinary opportunity the D-SIP program is to be an intern while still being entrusted with substantial work that makes a difference across the university. After having quite a few internship experiences, I can say that D-SIP was the most valuable and educational internship I’ve had.
What keeps you busy these days? Feel free to discuss work, family life, and or volunteer commitments.
I recently moved to DC and I work as a development fellow with the Partnership for Public Service, a non-profit working to revitalize the federal government by transforming the way government works. Even though development here looks completely different from the higher ed development at U-M, what I learned in D-SIP directly carries over to my work here! I support the entire development team, which includes administrative support for corporate giving, writing acknowledgement letters, supporting events, and whatever else needs to get done.
Each year D-SIP honors alumni who have done amazing philanthropic work in the field of development, or in their community.
The first award, the Chrissi Rawak Award of Distinction in Development, was named after one of the program’s visionaries and is given to an alum who has entered the fundraising profession and is doing exceptional work on behalf of their organization. The winner of the award this year was Charlie Goelz from D-SIP 2010! Charlie has been an integral fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. A highlight of his fundraising career is that he planned five high-dollar fundraising dinners featuring both the President and Vice President.
Our second award, the Block M of Honor for Community Impact, recognizes a D-SIP alum who has made philanthropic contributions to their community. The 2016 Block M of Honor recipient was Wesley Ellison, hailing from the very first D-SIP class in 2007! Wesley was recognized for efforts in building the inaugural University of Michigan Youth Impact Program (YIP): a life-changing experience for 100 youth males from the Detroit community which combines academics, leadership development, positive mentoring, life skills, and athletics. Wesley now serves on the Board of Directors for the national program, which has impacted over 2,000 youth.
D-SIP is grateful that both Charlie and Wesley have remained highly connected to the program and are willing to meet with and provide advice to any alum.
Congratulations to Charlie and Wesley!
9/30/16 D-SIP 10 year Reunion at Ruthven Museum.
This past August we reached out to our alumni for updates. We were thrilled when over 95 alumni responded. Curious to learn more about an alum or one of your peers? Click here to learn more about what alums have been up to since their D-SIP experience.
9/30/16 D-SIP 10 year Reunion at the Ruthven Museum
Having been the first development internship of its kind, D-SIP turning ten is quite the milestone. Below are some highlights of the past decade as well as some pictures from our recent fall celebration.
- One D-SIP family made up of 241 alumni. These alumni work all around the country, and several work internationally.
- Two D-SIP instructors have left an impact on our interns over the years. Dr. Shelley Strickland developed the curriculum and led the academic class for nine years! We were fortunate to have PhD candidate, Jillian Gross, take over the academic class this past summer. Both instructors have provided a foundation of knowledge in philanthropy that has left a mark on each and every D-SIP intern.
- Three awards. D-SIP was awarded two national awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and a state award from Crain’s Business Detroit which named D-SIP as the Nonprofit Employer of the Year!
- Four-ty alumni have worked full-time for U-M development over the past decade!
- Five local nonprofits have participated in our Nonprofit 9-0 consulting project and have benefited from partnering with our intern consultants! These nonprofits were: AIDS Partnership Michigan (formerly HIV/AIDS Resource Center) Resource Center (now AIDS Partnership Michigan), Fair Food Network, Ypsilanti District Library, The Ark, and The Brides Project.
- Six years of Dobson interns. Since 2010, 27 Dobson interns have worked at 23 different Washtenaw community nonprofits.
- Seven-teen. The number of interns in the first cohort. The great work by the first cohort is the reason D-SIP is still around.
- Eight-y-Seven percent of our alumni have made a gift to U-M! This is a tremendous giving rate for alumni who have only graduated from U of M at most ten years ago!
- Ninth cohort of interns–or the class of 2015, was the first to achieve a 100% alumni giving rate to U-M!
- Ten years since the vision for D-SIP became a reality. We are so grateful for Jerry May and Chrissi Rawak’s vision for the program, and for the three graduate students – Kat Walsh, Kasey Alpay, and Marta Brill Marmo – who brought D-SIP to life.
If you were unable to join us for the 10-year celebrations you can still check out photos here.
This summer D-SIP will have three new staff members. Learn more about them below.
Jillian Gross, EDU 471 Instructor
Jillian Gross joins the team as the new instructor of the educational class. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Before her doctoral studies, Jillian also earned an A.B. at U of M (’01) and a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership at Seattle University (’08). Along the way, she has taught high school, served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for two-years, and worked in the nonprofit sector for another eight years. A few of her deepest community engagements include volunteering and working for Habitat for Humanity in different capacities for over twenty years, serving on the Board of Directors for the Mockingbird Society for five years, and collaboratively leading the Project Leadership program at MetroVolunteers. This summer, she is excited to help the interns explore philanthropy as a way of life – one that is intentional, deeply relational, and requires integrity in every interaction.
The D-SIP team now has the help of another alum. Melissa Burns, from the D-SIP class of 2012, is in charge of intern logistics. She also leads the marketing team to recruit the next cohort and manages the interview and selection processes. Melissa graduated from the University of Michigan (’13) with a degree in political science and international studies, and in her free time enjoys exploring new exercise classes (she recently took up fencing!), reading, and exploring all of the wonderful places to eat in the Southeast Michigan area. This summer, she cannot wait to see the interns compete in the Nonprofit 9-0 Challenge, which is a nonprofit consulting challenge held since 2012. Interested in learning more? See our past challenges here.
Caroline Rebello joined the D-SIP team as a program assistant this past November. Caroline manages all of the supervisor logistics–reaching out to units who want an intern and helping to ensure that the supervisors are prepared for the summer! Caroline a semi-recent graduate of Michigan State University (’14) with a major in Communication, Public Relations and Portuguese. She jumped into the world of philanthropy a little over a year ago. Caroline is the first hire on the D-SIP team who is not a D-SIP/U-M alumni! Outside of the office, she enjoys running, hiking and traveling to Brazil to visit her family. She’s SO excited to learn more from and about the 2016 cohort!